When Huckleberry Finn's religious education was taken in hand by the Widow and Miss Watson, his impressionable mind was at first strongly affected—in his own words, he was all in a sweat—on hearing the story of Moses. Later, his interest in Moses cooled off, because Miss Watson let out that Moses had been dead a considerable time, and Huckleberry Finn, as he explains, took no stock in dead men.
It was a very naïve reaction to history; but naïve reactions often reveal truths which are blurred by a more sophisticated attitude, and must somehow be recaptured before we can see things as they are. Huckleberry Finn may here stand as the babe or suckling out of whose mouth the historian is to learn wisdom.
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